1. End of Life – Women of Trachis Reading │ IOM Committee on Approaching Death/Outside the Wire
This performance of End of Life was presented by Outside the Wire in collaboration with the IOM Committee on Approaching Death at the Chautauqua Institution on August 22, 2013. End of Life is an innovative public health project that presents a reading of ancient Greek plays – here, Sophocles’ Women of Trachis – as a catalyst for a town hall discussion with expert panelists and attendees about death and end of life care as it touches patients, families, and health professionals. The event was facilitated by Bryan Doerries, Artistic Director for Outside the Wire. The reading was performed by T. Ryder Smith (as Heracles), Alex Morf (as Hyllus), and Bryan Doerries (as the Chorus). The panel comprised Patricia Bomba, M.D., FACP, Vice President and Medical Director of Geriatrics at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; Christine Cassel, M.D., President and CEO of the National Quality Forum; Harvey Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., President of the Institute of Medicine; and Philip Pizzo, M.D., Professor and Former Dean at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Pizzo is co-chair of the IOM Committee on Approaching Death, and Dr. Bomba is a member of the committee. The event concluded with a 45-minute discussion with the more than 500 attendees about their reactions to the reading and experiences and thoughts relating to serious illness, aging, and end of life issues.